Posted 2016-04-25, evaluated by djpretzel
IT'S FINALLY HERE!!
The second volume of our FF5 album, Final Fantasy V: The Fabled Warriors ~II. WATER~, is now available at http://ff5.ocremix.org! This was a loooong time coming, calling the concept of a five-part series into question, but it was never abandoned, it's finally seeing the light of day now, and I think you'll love the end result! Album director DarkeSword (Shariq Ansari) writes:
"Well, here it is, at long last. Kind of unbelievable that this is finally coming out. So why'd this thing take so long? What happened? Well, a lot happened, actually. I bought a house and moved out of my parents' place. I started taking on more stuff at work. OCR got involved with the fighting game community and I started directing albums for tournaments. I started running my own remixing tournaments on OCR for series like Mega Man, and, speaking of Mega Man, I even worked with Capcom to direct OCR's first commercial album.
But with all this stuff going on, I also hit roadblocks creatively as a musician. I was still putting out tracks for the FGC albums, but I wanted my Mystic Knight track on this album to be something really great and bigger than what I'd done before. So I put things off until I could find time, and when I found time I couldn't make it work creatively, and then I'd get busy again. Finally, it just got to be too much, and I said "I need to be able to tell people at MAGFest that it's done." So I sat down and, for a few nights in the week leading up to MAGFest, I pushed through all the creative roadblocks and finally got the track out.
But of course, this album series is way more than my dumb track that took way too long to write. It's filled with awesome music from a really talented bunch of guys. I'm grateful that they've been so patient with me, and I'm happy that you're all going to finally hear their awesome arrangements.
Now that WATER is finally out, we're going to move on to putting together Volume III: FIRE. I've got big plans, and while it would be irresponsible of me to promise a release date, I will say that after everything I've learned about running all these albums over the years, things are going to move along at a better pace. Keep an eye out, and in the meantime, enjoy The Fabled Warriors: Volume II: WATER."
I can certainly relate to being torn in several directions, letting newer priorities trump existing obligations, and getting stuck on a mix or two... or three :) Given the not-for-profit nature of OCR, we don't always have the most... aggressive... of deadlines, but what matters is that an album director & the artists committed to the project "keep the faith" - keep working towards an eventual release, one way or another. I can admit to being personally skeptical when The Fabled Warriors was originally conceptualized as a five-part series, because of all of the above concerns, but ultimately it comes down to the release: will it happen, or won't it? We're finally here, WATER has finally arrived, and I can finally propose cheeky release taglines/slogans like "Get wet!!" or "Dive in!!" or "H2OMG!!" or "You'll die without it!!" or... you get the picture.
We start things off from Shariq himself, who offers a transporting cinematic/world arrangement that blends regional influences, featuring a prominent duduk wind lead, rolling hand percussion, and lush accompaniment:
"The "Dungeon" theme (better known as "Fate in Haze") is, in my opinion, one of Final Fantasy V's most iconic themes. When you first go into that cave and that harp arpeggio starts up, it feels really mysterious, like there's way more going on in this cave than meets the eye, and then those classic SNES strings start swelling, building the tension and leading us into this wonderful descending flute melody.
This is the one. This is the track I've been working on for so long, and part of the reason that WATER has taken such a long time to come out. I've always had such a specific vision of how I wanted to capture the theme of the Mystic Knight job, and the mysterious feeling of "Fate in Haze" was perfect for that. For this remix, I used a lot of Middle Eastern, Indian, and African instruments; duduk, santoor, tabla, djembe, and a special string section. The entire piece was originally meant to use a lot more in the way of Middle Eastern-sounding modes and harmonies, which I think was what was tripping me up for such a long time. The darker sound is still prevalent in the opening section, but after having so much trouble adapting the B-section of the source, I decided to dig in and try something a little brighter. Once I stopped trying to force the music into my own vision and just let it take me where it was going to go, I found it a lot easier to bring everything together.
I'm very proud of this remix. It might be one of my favorites, right up there with "A Deus ex Harpa (Second Seal Mix)" and "Thicket." It's the culmination of many years of effort, and I'm glad people are finally able to hear it."
I like the repeating pluck pattern at 0'18" because it reminds me of the traditional news broadcast intro music you'd see in ye olden days, by which I mean the 1980s, but it also totally works in the role it's playing here. Shariq really polished this mix up quite a bit, and it reflects a more cinematic style for him & incorporates a varied timbral palette that brings together a bunch of regional instruments, most notably the duduk & santoor, which are used a majority of the time for lead parts. My only nitpick is that the duduk might be a little too dominant/present thoughout, and that a tradeoff to a secondary lead might have been interesting, but that's a minor quibble; overall this is one of DarkeSword's best arrangements to date, building a lush atmosphere around a mysterious, serpentine melody and doing it with STYLE. A great introduction to WATER - don't be afraid to get your feet wet and check it out, then DIVE RIGHT IN to the rest of the album at http://ff5.ocremix.org!
on 2022-12-17 10:37:19
I should've commented when this came out, but better late than never. I really like 2:15 to 2:31 and like 3:03 to 3:19. The duduk sounds too low pitch of an instrument to be used for the main melody... or maybe it is something else about how the instrument is used. Maybe I'm not used to hearing the duduk in that way, but I just can't help but wonder if a different instrument is better suited. Overall, the entire album is really good.
on 2016-10-18 13:52:43
Let me pick my jaw from the floor... I've been big fan of this amazing creation since the release of the album. This song reminds me of some Sonic music for some reason (it may perfectly fit Dusty Desert and/or Arid Sands During the sunrise ). The soul-touching, ethreal blend of classic Darke's instrumentation and some cool world stuff like those mesmerizng wind leads and hand percussion creates a wonderful soundscape, which tears my soul apart with its emotional power. Certainly one of Shariq's strongest works and one of the numerous highlights of "Water". This track, however, is probably a better fit for the "Wind" volume because of how light it is, but it's not a big deal after all. Wonderful job, man!
on 2016-05-07 04:51:10
42 minutes ago, Brandon Strader said:
This is a damn good song. The world instruments are really good, and although that echo on the sitar-type sound is totally not kosher, it sounds good.
Yeah, I think that's a santoor from EWQL Ra.
on 2016-05-07 04:08:55
This is a damn good song. The world instruments are really good, and although that echo on the sitar-type sound is totally not kosher, it sounds good. I like the duduk a lot, it is pretty expressive. Nice attention to detail not only on the duduk but throughout the mix. Good leveling on the hat or tambourine(?), nice to put them as low as they are. The fadeout is really good with that arpeggio, that's the way to do a fadeout. Like descending into a dream.
on 2016-05-01 17:08:28
Finally, the real thing. This is a great atmospheric piece; the source choice is awesome and the percussion is sweet (I'm reminded of Djp's excellent remix of Desolate Road from Tales of Phantasia). I really feel like I'm in the pirate cave area.
on 2016-04-28 16:59:16
Mostly I felt this was a nice ambient update to the original, capturing its essence while building a much fuller atmosphere. The section from 2:16-3:05, however, was really beautiful, much more cheerful and interpreted, and I got one of those goosebump moments when it started up, even listening for the second and third times. I don't feel like the section right after it fit at all with the rest of the mix, though.
on 2016-04-28 12:14:58
The album as a whole is pretty nice. It would behoove Ocremix to focus on quality rather than quantity for future projects.
on 2016-04-28 00:21:33
It may just be because I naturally love middle-eastern instruments, but this soundscape is really well-constructed. The duduk could have had smoother legato, but it was handled fairly well. I liked the quasi-meditative mood evoked from the kind of "not-quite-resolving" implied harmonies (like if you played C,F,G,C'); it reminds me of "Gentle Fist" (which interestingly enough was in the WIND volume!). 2:15 - 2:32 was a highlight for me in terms of the standout harmonies, and for me, definitely makes the track.
on 2016-04-27 00:38:11
Ditto Subz1987 on his comment; I had every intention of trying to hold a grudge against this mix, and I couldn't make it 20 seconds in before abandoning all pretense. Darkesword nailed it: this is one of the iconic FF V themes, and frankly, I can't believe the quality and rework this one takes on. It transports Fate in Haze into an entirely new world while still keeping its truly mystical heart; that the remixer was able to marry those two concepts together astounds me! The bass line through the beautifully sparse main sections works so gorgeously with the return of the instrumentation. I loved it every time. Special props for 3:05-3:25, which adds even a little more feel to an already A piece.
Somehow, some way, it must be said - worth the wait!!
on 2016-04-25 17:04:24
I guess we should hate this track for holding up the project for so long, but it's too great to hate. Definitely my favorite track on the album (don't get me wrong, the entire album is amazing) and the part from 2:16 - 3:04 is pure bliss
on 2016-04-25 00:32:57
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Regional > African
Regional > Indian
Regional > Middle Eastern
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